Image source: us-passport-service-guide.com
Cases abound of passport holders needing to take new passport photos because of radical facial changes courtesy of plastic surgery. Typically, a passport holder needs to renew his or her passport once every few years, depending on citizenship and the country’s specific rules.
All nations around the world have adapted stricter security measures, including biometric facial and fingerprint examinations. This is to ensure the passport carrier’s safety as well as to reduce the risk of identity theft. During the renewal process of the passport, a person’s photograph is taken. Standard procedures require the hair to be kept out of the face, eyes facing the camera with no accessories such as eyeglasses, face to be relaxed, and a smile absent. This is so that the computer can accurately read unique characteristics in a person’s face.
Computers could register a negative match when plastic surgery significantly alters the features of the passport holder. This will lead to frustration on the part of both government agencies and passport carriers as it has to be proven, beyond doubt, that the person holding the passport and the one in the photographs in the records are one and the same.
Image source: pinterest.com
To avoid this, many countries are suggesting that dramatic facial surgery – particularly those that affect the cheeks, jaw, and nose – be followed by a visit to one’s local passport assistance office. If the associates there feel that biometrics in facial recognition could be compromised, a new passport photo might need to be taken, regardless of the validity of the passport at the time. This is to prevent the inconvenience of identification issues in airports.
Similarly, another recommendation is to have a certificate issued by the plastic surgeon validating the person’s identity. This method, however, is not fully recognized by all countries and it is best to know the exact rules regarding photo identifications.